Use of Cash

Understanding why so many people use cash

“Cash feels real, you can feel yourself spending” we heard from one young lived expert at the opening session of our insight programme with NatWest Group.

In a world where many assume the move to a cashless society is only a matter of time, the programme’s aim was to deepen the bank’s understanding of how and why millions of people in the UK continue to choose to use cash.

To do this we brought together key stakeholders from different parts of the bank for two online immersion sessions with an eclectic mix of charity experts and lived experts.

We learned how many on low incomes choose cash for budgeting, how those who are digitally excluded or wary of scams can go to great lengths to avoid digital payments and how cash continues to be essential for small businesses and in rural communities.

In a third session we then worked with the group to distil the insights and explore their implications.

These insights, alongside quantitative data, are being widely used across the bank to inform NatWest Group’s commitment to cash access, as well as their financial and digital support programmes.

“The work with Three Hands has been invaluable to us in helping to get under the skin of how and why people use cash today. Hearing the range of participants’ unique experiences reinforced why payment choice and cash access are so important, even in a world where digital payments and digital access continues to grow.”

Richard Talbot, Head of Cash & Self Service, Payments Centre of Expertise, NatWest Group